Tony Cosentino
8 minute read

Premium capacity licensing used to be only accessible to companies who had more than 250 Power BI users for it to be commercially viable. Today, for similar features in Power BI, Microsoft have released a Premium Per User license SKU. This means instead of paying more than $6000 per month for premium licensing, you pay only $25 per user, per premium license, per month.

This is excellent news if you’re a small to medium sized business (SMB) because you will experience up to a whooping 20X performance boost for processing of data, and Power BI reports. 

Power BI Premium has been around for years now, and is licenced per capacity, see above. The only problem is that is very expensive for a SMB to justify its monthly expense, so they stick to Power BI Pro licencing. Power BI Pro is a great way to get your feet wet, but if you have big data in the order of millions or even billions of rows of data in your database, then you really should consider moving to Power BI Premium.

What does this mean in terms of cost?
It seems that if you’re an organisation of up to 200 users, going Premium Per User is the way to go.

PPU = Premium Per User

In the example I have highlighted above, if you have 50 Power BI users in your company, then you’re looking at $1,375 per month for Premium licencing (PPU).
However, if you have 250 or more users, then Premium Per User (PPU) is no longer commercially appealing. You’re better off going for a P1, P2 or P3 licence, also known as Premium Per Capacity (PPC).


PPC = Premium Per Capacity (Unlimited Users)

You can get Premium Per Capacity in a range of sizes which include memory and virtual cores that can scale as your data analysis requirements change. Essentially, you’re buying dedicated compute capacity for high performance BI reporting being best in class. The more dedicated compute resources you need, the more you pay each month. PPC requires you to additionally purchase Power BI Pro licences for the users who will be creating and publishing reports.

All your content which includes dataflows, datasets, reports, apps, and dashboards is stored in PPC and can then be viewed by as many users in your organisation as you want, without additional per-user costs.

To conclude, if you're in that 1 to 200 user category, then PPU is the best way forward. The Dataflow feature for managing your data is second to none, and future proof. And, you don’t need to purchase any further Power BI Pro licences for users who publish reports.

How do I enable Premium Per User (PPU)?
Once you have purchased and provisioned a PPU licence for your tenant, PPU features are available in any workspace that you enable it for. For the preview, simply enable the Premium Per User features in the capacity dropdown by selecting the Premium per user item.

Please note: If you plan to use Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 account to store your data (which I highly recommend), you must ensure the regions are identical in your Azure storage account and your Power BI account. If this is not done correctly, you will need to recreate your Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 account again.

If you'd like to learn more about Power BI capabilities and what it could do for your business, get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements and how to get started. 

Email Fiona - f[email protected] or call on 0415 870 135


Tony Cosentino

Tony Cosentino

Senior Consultant
Tony has worked as a Solutions Architect for over 11 years and has been integral to a number of key SharePoint, RecordPoint, Office 365 and Power BI projects. He has experience working with major clients in some of the largest SharePoint solutions that have ever been rolled out, inclusive of Fusion Retail Brands, the Bureau of Meteorology and Fujitsu Australia. This professional experience is further complemented by his impressive resume in the motivational speaking realm, inclusive of being a TEDx Public Speaker coach.